DREAMS have come true for a councillor who has been selected as the Labour’s candidate for Southend East and Rochford.

Bayo Alaba is a former Parachute Regiment soldier, school governor, youth mentor, charity trustee and one of the pioneers of east London’s creative economy, husband and father of three.

After a big campaign, up against councillor Donna Richardson, he has been selected.

Labour has selected Bayo Alaba as the candidate to fight for Rochford and Southend East following the decision from current MP Sir James Duddridge’s to quit at the next election.

His main aims are to support activists to campaign on local issues, increase voter registration, fundraise to support trade unions, business and RSE’s community groups, build a united team across the CLP and hold, win back and gain council seats.

There are predictions that Labour could win the seat at the next election.

Pundits predict Labour has an 80 per cent chance of winning.

On social media, Mr Alaba said: “Thank you for all the support and messages. This UK Labour family is something else.

“Thank you Donna Richardson for being a classy opponent.

“And special thanks goes out to my campaign team, endorsers and my family for making this happen.

“We have an exciting road ahead as we make history - turning Southend East & Rochford red.”

In response, Donna Richardson said: "After a good hustings tonight, Bayo Alaba won, I must say that he will make an amazing MP for Southend East and Rochford, I will be supporting him in his campaign.

“Congratulations Bayo, well deserved.”

A spokesman for Labour East congratulated Mr Alaba and said: “The people of Southend East and Rochford deserve a dedicated and hard working MP who will stand up for them, and that's exactly what Bayo will be offering them.”

The candidate has worked alongside Southend West councillor Aston Line, who said: “Bayo Alaba has shared the doorsteps of Southend-on-Sea with me, and I have been impressed with his persuasiveness and his dedication.

“A paratrooper veteran, and a fellow businessman, I think he will make a superb Member of Parliament for my nextdoor Constituency.”